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Maintenance after LONG term storage?

795 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  ZenSojourner
I have a 1988 Yamaha YAS-62 alto saxophone which has been in storage for I'm guessing about 18 years. I bought it new in 1988, played for awhile, and then embarked on a period of globe-trekking. Well not quite, but from Ohio to Puerto Rico to Alabama to Oregon to Missouri to West Virginia in that time period. Never seemed to quite get settled enough to pull it out and play until now.

It looks great. It was stored with a Pad Guard in the main body, a Neck Saver, and a mouthpiece mouse. There are no odors, no dust, everything on the inside of the case looks pristine (not so much the outside of the case, there is corrosion on the latches and the leather cover needs to be cleaned).

I have a box of Vandoren Java reeds, #3, never used, and miscellaneous other reeds - some Rico 2 1/2s, a couple of Java #2s, and a couple of La Voz mediums. Some of the miscellaneous reeds had been played prior to the long hiatus, but all were stored in reed cases, although I wonder if my good reed case is any good anymore since it now has the impression of the four reeds that were stored in it more or less permanently impressed in the padding.

I replaced the ligature it came with with a Rovner C-1RL ligature. The leather still seems supple and clean. It's not stuck to the mouthpiece or anything horrible like that.

The action looks good, all the keys work the way they're supposed to. Obviously the pads are now 19 or 20 years old, but I've read that people don't replace the pads much anyway, and it's not like they've been in service all that time.

Even the cork grease still looks brand new. In fact, the only thing that seems to be missing is the polishing cloth, and I'm pretty sure that's in my son's sax case. Which is still in storage at my Dad's.

In short, the thing looks every bit as good as it did the day I put it away, despite the years in storage and globe-trotting it's been through. I wish I could say the same for me.

So is there any reason NOT to go ahead and use the reeds I've got? Any maintenance that I should expect to have done on it before I start trying to play it? Is it reasonable to assume that even after having been in storage for so long, I could just pull it out and start playing again? I'm pretty sure there are only regular band instrument techs around here - do I need to worry about putting my baby in that sort of care? (Oh yeah, I ignore it for 18 years, and NOW I get sentimental about it!)

Also, what's the difference between my YAS-62 and the newer models, the YAS-62II and the YAS-62IIS?

I've got a Yamaha flute that's been in storage for about the same length of time that I'm also working on putting back in play - I am actually playing that. I don't know why, but I'm much more worried about doing something "bad" to the sax than I am the flute. Maybe because I played the flute for so long before I gave it up, and I'd only had the sax for about a year or two. Also, the sax looks scary-complicated mechanically in comparison to my flute.

Advice about bringing the poor thing back into the light of day?


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